Tech giant Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) saw its shares rise in early trading after CEO Meg Whitman delivered an upbeat, optimistic speech to investors, promising the company would reverse its contraction and “turn this great company around.”
Despite having revenues only outshined by Apple Inc. (AAPL) , Hewlett-Packard has in recent years gained a reputation of having lost its edge. The company is overly diversified, selling a maddeningly broad array of products, and revenues last fiscal year were down $7 billion to $110 billion.
The final straw for Whitman came in late 2012, when HP wrote down $8.8 billion as a result of the company’s ill-advised purchase of UK-based software company Autonomy. Whitman began reorganizing management at HP and began aggressively working to turn around the company.
While HP has seen revenues shrink and a lack of a clear plan going forward, Whitman has energized investors, and promises the company will renew focus on IT. Its flagship PC business is dwindling, and Whitman sees the future of the company in businesses like cloud computing and mobile.
Analysts expect revenues for HP to fall 7.4 percent this fiscal year, and another 3 percent next year. In her remarks to investors, Whitman, however, promised that “revenues would stabilize.”
Whitman had previously admonished employees of the company when HP was removed from the Dow, saying “I hope that everybody took (the announcement) personally.” But since then her tone has changed drastically, and with her renewed optimism touting “pockets of growth” in the company’s future, investors appear to have regained confidence in her ability to right the sluggish tech company.
Hewlett-Packard was up as much as 6 percent in early trading.
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